My Spice Files - C. Rule

How To Make An Easy Herb & Spice File

How to devise a storage system for herbs and spices and forever do away with novelty spice racks and their special containers—or purchasing extra spice packets you don’t really need.

My Spice Files - C. Rule


PROBLEM SOLVED | Has this ever happened to you? You’re ready to whip up a dish from scratch when you realize your recipe calls for a dried herb that, after rummaging among your cache of spice bottles and bags, you appear to be out of.  So you rush out and pick some up only to discover later that you already had a bottle on hand—three, actually, stashed away in the dark recesses of the various places you store this stuff.

This was my recurring Nightmare on Spice Street until I came up with the following solution that will forever free me from purchasing an expensive novelty spice rack or cute little spice container—or extra seasonings I don’t need.

The idea came to me recently while editing my friend and craft genius Brendan Power’s Frugalbits How To on making a flexible system of Plexiglas dividers for storing magazines (CLICK HERE for our story).

How To Make A Spice File

My Spice File Boxes - C. RuleGlass shops sell thin Plexiglas sheets. I had 13 pieces cut the exact height and width of inexpensive wooden boxes from IKEA.

I labelled each piece with alphabet letters in Baskerville Old Face 48 point bold printed onto adhesive film made for printers and copy machines (sold at Staples). I used one 8 1/2-by-11 sheet for each divider and trimmed off the excess once it had been applied.

How I Store Spices

Acrylic File Cards - C. RuleNow I store all my herbs and spices one of two ways: either in the bag they came in placed inside a resealable plastic sandwich bag or in a resealable snack size plastic bag further sealed inside a sandwich size bag; resealable plastic bags are easy to label and date.

Snack size bags keep spices contained yet accessible, plus they open wide enough for measuring spoons or fingers to take a pinch.

I keep my spice files inside a cupboard to shield the seasonings from potency-robbing sunlight. —Carolann Rule

Photos: C. Rule

2 replies
  1. Roxana
    Roxana says:

    I love this idea. I think it could solve lots of organizational problems around the house.
    Thank you so much,

  2. Ann Gillespie
    Ann Gillespie says:

    I’ve been keeping frequently used spice packets randomly in the easy-access cupboard and less-used ones in a cookie tin. But of course can’t remember what’s in the unless I take it out each time. This is a fabulous idea-a little work up front, but so useful. Was also thinking of using one of those expandable multi-pocket folders when have fewer spices.


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